The Learning Channel senior vice president and general manager Roger Marmet is apparently paying the price for the collapse of the network's ratings.
Sources said Marmet resigned Thursday, taking the bullet for the abrupt fade of TLC’s cornerstone hit, Trading Spaces.
It was Marmet who scheduled the home makeover show and exploited it mightily when it started regularly drawing quintuple TLC’s average.
But TLC relied too heavily on the whole makeover genre, then had nothing as strong when it abruptly went stale.
TLC ran Trading Spaces 10 and more times weekly and spawned half a dozen "surprise" makeover imitators. More networks got in the game, and Trading Spaces abruptly lost its steam, sliding from a 4.0 average Nielsen household rating to a 1.5.
Also, TLC parent Discovery Communications handed out pink slips to two dozen staffers and eliminated another dozen positions.
The hits were taken in marketing and new media.
The job cuts were part of a restructuring of some operations, including centralizing the marketing of Discovery’s 14 domestic networks.
The company noted that it expects add around 300 jobs in other areas of the company this year, particularly its education and merchandising units.